Kharge declines govt’s offer to attend Lokpal meeting

RSTV Bureau
New Delhi: File photo of Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge and others at Parliament  house, Delhi. Photo - PTI

New Delhi: File photo of Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge and others at Parliament house, Delhi.
Photo – PTI

Leader of the Congress in the Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge has declined to the government’s offer to attend the meeting of the Selection Committee for Lokpal appointment. He declined the invite writing to Prime Minister Narendra Modi Thursday morning.

The government had invited him for today’s meeting of the Selection Committee as a special invitee.

In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Kharge has said that a “special invitee” invitation is a concerted effort to exclude the voice of the opposition in Lokpal selection.

As per the Lokpal Act, only the Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha is a member of the Selection Committee and since Kharge is not the Leader of Opposition, he is not a part of the committee.

“A special invitee invitation is a concerted effort to exclude the independent voice of the opposition altogether from the selection process of the most important anti- corruption watchdog,” Kharge said in his letter to Modi.

My mere presence as special invitee without rights of participation, recording of my opinion and voting would be a mere eyewash ostensibly aimed at showcasing the participation of the opposition in the selection process, the Congress leader said.

In these circumstances I must decline the invite as special invitee to uphold the inviolability of the Lokpal Act 2013 as the current proceedings have reduced a sacred procedure to a political presence, he said in his letter to Modi.

(With inputs from PTI)